If you aren't a Bryan Reynolds fan by now, you probably haven't watched baseball in the last 30 days or so. That's fine if baseball isn't your thing, but there are few excuses remaining to not know about this kid.
Forget his batting average, plate discipline, clutch nature and everything else that has made him such a valuable asset to the Pirates' lineup. Forget the fact that his success early on has made the Andrew McCutchen trade pretty dang reasonable. This kid gives every single ounce of his body when making plays in the field. And, he does it to such an extent that he makes it look like his teammates aren't trying when they do, or don't, the same.
Take Saturday's game with the Brewers, for example.
Starling Marte can get a pass on losing the ball in the light because ... well, there wasn't much sunshine through the clouds. Leaving the sunglasses up proved costly, but it wasn't an effort or perception of effort example. The sun just happened to sneak out when he was tracking the ball.
[caption id="attachment_836097" align="aligncenter" width="640"] MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
But, earlier, Melky Cabrera pursued a line/fly hybrid in left field, made a pretty quick decision that he wouldn't get to it and committed to the bounce. After watching Reynolds work, the past week in particular, it was tough to watch anyone decide the ball was out of reach, and that's where this week's main photo comes into play. Not a knock on Cabrera, by the way, he's been great for the Pirates this season. But, Reynolds' effort in the field is special.
Thursday, I took the photo at the top of this Sunday's Best. Reynolds didn't come up with the catch, but he made about as good an effort as I've ever seen in left field. All effort. He's been making catches on high effort plays since joining the lineup, so I tracked him expecting the ball to end up in his glove. It's just how he plays.
Take this one from last week, for another example. Reynolds gives a diving effort, tumbles and the ball just barely pops out of his glove when he started righting himself and popping up:
[caption id="attachment_836143" align="aligncenter" width="640"] MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
Not so different from Saturday's effort, just a different dive. Again, he didn't come up with it, but it made a great photo and I loved appreciating the effort through my lens. As always, the rest of my week's best images follow behind it. The last one in particular, of Josh Bell striking out with the bases loaded in extras Saturday, is another favorite from the week. It just falls "last" chronologically.